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Monday, August 8, 2011

Central City Days Offers Historical Fun "On The Hill"

“On May 6, 1859, John H. Gregory located, staked, and pre-empted the first mining claims in what was to become known as the 'Richest Square Mile on Earth.' This spot, marked by the Gregory Monument, is near the city limits of Central City and Black Hawk. The area was originally called Gregory's Diggings, but very soon became known as Mountain City. News of the strike reached Denver by May 17th. First publication of this was in the May 28, 1859 issue of the Rocky Mountain News. As of May 23rd, there were a total of 14 claims in the gulch.” -Gilpin Historical Society
July 30 and 31 "Mountain City" welcomed visitors during the first Central City Days. Great events and opportunities made for two jam-packed days of fun at historic heights! Adventure goers went on bike rides around ghost towns near Nevadaville and tours of historic Black Hawk and Central City. Led by the Gilpin County Historical Society staff, opera-goers and history-buffs alike could see where the beginnings of the Colorado gold rush took place.
 Patrons who purchased the VIP passes for Saturday were treated to a relaxing party at the McFarlane Memorial next to the Cour D'Alene Mine. Guests kicked back with a brew and enjoyed the glorious vista over Central City while listening to the folksy tunes from the incredibly talented group The Mile Markers. Sunday afternoon, the party moved to Central City Opera's historic Johnson House where guests mingled on the front lawn with a glass of Colorado mead. Featured during the VIP events were libations from Oskar Blues Brew & ‘Q as well as Grande River Winery and Infinite Monkey Theorem, plus mead from Redstone Meadery Meads
All of these events highlighted the 2011 Festival’s “festivalization” process. This milestone year included an expanse in offerings and more opportunities for opera-goers to enjoy the historic city in which Central City Opera was born. Read the press release about this exciting process, which will likely be continued and refined in the years to come.

The 2011 Festival might be over but there is always plenty to check out in Central City. Next time you're there, be sure to stop by the Gilpin Historical Society to get a walking tour of our historical property! I’m willing to bet they would be more than happy to tell you a bit about Mountain City, too!

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